Scottish needs must be addressed
The proposals for BBC Charter Renewal must honour the commitment made to address Scotland’s clear and distinct needs, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has said.
In May 2016, BBC Director-General Lord Tony Hall admitted the Corporation had ‘not done enough’ to reflect Scotland to itself, and the rest of the country.
The Scottish Government has published an updated blueprint on broadcasting which reiterates a number of key expectations that would need to be delivered by the BBC and UK Government, ahead of the publication of the BBC Charter:
• Introducing a service licence to ensure a fairer share of the license fee that is raised in Scotland is invested here.
• BBC Scotland to have greater control over its budget, and be given meaningful commissioning power, and to be held to account by a new Scottish Board.
• BBC Scotland being empowered to deliver more relevant editorial content for Scottish audiences.
• Appointing Ofcom as the external, independent regulator, and ensuring the body is adequately resourced.
• Managing the BBC Studios model carefully to ensure that Scotland’s creative industries can grow and be sustained as they deliver more high quality content for both BBC Scotland and the rest of the network.
Ms Hyslop said:
“Scotland has clear and distinct needs and it’s vital the requirements of our audiences, our production sector and those in our wider creative industries are met. The Scottish Government’s proposals lay out measures for increased transparency and accountability, which will help the Corporation listen to and reflect its audiences.
“A fairer share of the licence fee money raised in Scotland being spent in Scotland could also deliver up to an additional £100m of investment in our creative industries, supporting up to 1,500 jobs and contributing an additional £60m to the Scottish economy.
“Throughout this entire process we have sought to work constructively with the UK Government and the BBC, in order to shape a Charter that both reflects the reality of devolution. It’s vital that our proposals are considered in full. The people of Scotland expect no less.”
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